SGL Group inaugurates carbon fiber precursor line in Portugal

  • Successful conversion and enhancement of parts of the acrylic fiber production
  • Total investment of 30 million euros
  • Value chain for carbon fiber based solutions completed

SGL Group – The Carbon Company – today celebrates the inauguration of the production line for precursor at its FISIPE site in Lavradio, near Lisbon in Portugal. Precursor is a polymer-based fiber which is used as the main raw material for the production of carbon fibers. The production line has been set up by converting and enhancing parts of the existing production facility in Lavradio.

The build-up has been completed last month following four years of research and development, construction work and qualification procedures. Over this period, in total, 30 million euros have been invested in Lavradio into different elements of the precursor production including the spinning line. As part of the global production network of SGL Group, the precursor from Portugal is being used as of September for the production of our new generation of high-end industrial SIGRAFIL carbon fibers in Moses Lake, Washington State (USA) and Muir of Ord (Scotland). The carbon fibers will then be used in various applications in the automotive, aerospace, as well as in other industries.

Completion of value chain for carbon fiber based solutions

“With the new precursor line at our Lavradio site we now have the complete value chain of high-quality carbon fiber materials available in-house to further support our customers in developing and utilizing innovative lightweight solutions” comments Andreas Wüllner, Chairman of the business unit Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) at SGL Group.

SGL Group is a global innovation leader in composites for lightweight design with broad competence for fibers, materials, processes and applications. In order to further increase value for the customers, the business unit currently enhances its activities offering not only materials but also extensive expertise and support to enable customers to optimize the use of fibers and materials for composites. In this context, SGL Group also sets up a new Lightweight and Applications Center (LAC) at its biggest site in Meitingen, Germany to facilitate the product and manufacturing technology development from fibers and materials to component.

Consequent development of Lavradio facility

In addition, the completion of the precursor production line is also a consequent and successful step of further developing the business and set-up of the FISIPE site in Lavradio, Portugal. Having been founded more than 40 years ago, FISIPE has established as a specialist for acrylic fibers. Under the umbrella of SGL Group – which acquired FISIPE in April 2012 – the acrylic fiber business is maintained while the precursor production has been set up.

“With around 350 employees in Lavradio and a production site of more than 200,000 qm now also including the new state-of-the-art precursor production line, we are proud to contribute to the further build-up of highly innovative composites and thus help to establish more and more fascinating lightweight solutions around the world. I would like to sincerely thank all colleagues involved in this project for their great support and engagement.” says Stefan Seibel, Managing Director at FISIPE in Lavradio.

Precursor production is part of path forward for SGL Group

The precursor production is part of SGL Group’s path forward towards sustainable profitable growth targeting a 50 percent sales increase until 2020 in the fields of composites and graphite materials and systems. In future, the Company will focus on supporting and accelerating developments linked to the megatrends of mobility, energy, and digitalization.

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